“Before making peace, war is necessary, and that war must be made with our self. Our worst enemy is our self: our faults, our weaknesses, our limitations. And our mind is such a traitor! What does it? It covers our faults even from our own eyes, and points out to us the reason for all our difficulties: others! So it constantly deludes us, keeping us unaware of the real enemy, and pushes us towards those others to fight them, showing them to us as our enemies.”
– Hazrat Inayat Khan
What is it about ourselves that always seems to find the faults in another without realizing our own? Is it that we see our own limitations in others? We believe our own thoughts though they may be erroneous, but we can’t do the same for others? Our own limitations don’t allow us to know the truth of others?
To all of these possibilities I would say a resounding YES! And, all of these images of our self are the fantasies of Ego. Our ego is the protective device that reminds us to pull our hand away from a hot flame, dodge a thrown punch, and not to get scammed by con artists. It is our internal alarm system. It is the this system, which keeps us safe.
So, what is it that allows us to be so sure of the collective thoughts of others that we completely dismiss the thoughts of intelligent people with a greater world view for the myopic thoughts of fringe groups with limited, divisive views? Again, it is the ego. When these same myopic views of others grab our attention and begin to appeal to our own limited thinking and we buy into someone else’s self styled view of how God, the world, a particular race or group should be treated, we have given away our power allowing someone else to think for us.
Ego is a powerful protective system, but we can get lazy a put ourselves in even greater jeopardy by not tempering our ego with following our heart. The heart, when we don’t block it out, is the pat part of us which sees beyond our limiting beliefs and allows us to feel. It is the part of us that seems to break in tragedy, and brings us back when our grieving has ended. It is that part of us which builds relationships allowing our interaction with others. It is our true self, our sharing self, our caring self.
It is our spiritual center which defines our divinity. It knows only unconditional love. It is the heart which allows us to be vulnerable, to fall in love, and to want good for the whole world, irrespective of our differences. It is our heart from which compromise springs. And it is a closed heart which commits evil acts, atrocities.
When we begin to act from our heart, this will be a world that works for everyone!